Trade surplus turns to deficit first half 2004

Norway´s healthy NOK 662 million trade surplus with Asean´s ten member nations the first half 2003 has turned to a NOK 607 million deficit för the same period this year.
     The reason is largely due to shrinking exports, especially to Singapore, shows fresh statistics on trade in goods from Statistics Norway which Scandasia has analysed.
     Total imports grew by 13.7 percent, corresponding to a NOK 305 million increase in money terms. Allover Norwegian imports from Asean went from NOK 2.2 billion first half 2003 to NOK 2.5 billion the same period this year.
     Exports shrunk by over 33 percent the same period. From NOK 2.88 billion last year to NOK 1.9 billion this year.
     The main export disappointment is Singapore which by far is Norway´s largest trading partner in Asean.
     Exports to the city state dropped nearly 50 percent first half 2004. From NOK 2.2 billion the first six months last year to NOK 1.1 billion first half 2004.
     The largest success story percentage wise is Vietnam which spent nearly 84 percent more money, totally NOK 41.6 million, on Norwegian goods this year´s first half compared with the corresponding period 2003.
     Thailand too did well. Norway sold for 30 percent more to the Thais this year´s first half, up from NOK 284.1 in 2003 to 369.8 million first six months of 2004.
     Burma is despite tough political talk from Oslo still a faithful and stable trading partner with Norway.
     Imports from Burma to Norway amounts to NOK 6.4 million first half 2004.
That is only 3.4 percent less than same period 2003.
     The cash strapped country buys considerably less from Norway. So far 2004 Burma purchased goods for a mere NOK 56,000, and that is 40 percent less than 2003.
     Singapore shows the biggest jump in Norwegian imports from Asean.
Up 34.7 percent to NOK 448.7 million.
     Of the other trading partners, exports grew to Cambodia, Malaysia and the Philippines and dipped to Brunei, Indonesia and Laos.
     Except Brunei, which sold nothing to Norway this and last first half, and Burma that fell, have imports to Norway grown from all other Asean nations this year.

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